Friday, January 11, 2008

Consumer Electronic Devices that LIGHT UP

DOES ALL CAPS BOTHER YOU? It should. Just like electronic devices with overly bright lights (or, more likely, LEDs) probably bother you. Well, okay, they bother me. A LOT. Well, some don't bother me, because the manufacturer of the devices allows you to turn them off while the device still works (like one of the coolest gadgets of all time does, the Kaleidescape). But devices that don't do that, like the newest HD DVR DirecTV receivers DRIVE ME CRAZY.

Those LEDs are software controlled. I know this because the power actually never turns off on your DVR or it wouldn't be able to record all those great TV shows while you had it off. That means the software could let you turn them off all the time. Or at night. Or dim them (yes, LEDs can be dimmed, contrary to popular belief). But no, we have to endure these crazy bright blue LEDs on top of the TV.

I'm picking on DirecTV here, but there are plenty of other devices that do that, too. Sure, you can make creative use of electrical tape and other means to squelch them yourself, but should you have to? It's probably about ten minutes of some software engineer's time to add the feature I want. JUST DO IT.

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